Tuesday, October 28, 2008

LUNCH: Samurai Sam's

It's time for more Lunch Posts!

George and I met at Samurai Sam's for the first time in, well, a long time. Even though my last lunch posting was over two years ago, we have continued to have lunch at least every two or three weeks on average. Enough about that... on to the agenda!


It happened... I finally bought World of Warcraft. I've played on a few 10-day free trials, and decided to dive in with a permanent account.

It is (as I was warned) addictive, time-consuming, and doesn't ever really end... you just keep running around, bashing stuff, finding stuff, cashing in your stuff, and buying more stuff. Still, I really enjoy it. The places you can visit in the "world" are interesting, and the involvement of other actual players makes it pretty fun. I've joined a guild, something that brings many benefits.

I've invited George to join, and we are going to try to play together soon.

While describing my experiences, I mentioned to George that I had taken a Zeppelin ride... he thought I meant a real one, but I was talking about the game. Still...

Zeppelin NT

I saw a story last week about a company that is making Zeppelins (it seems they have been for a decade). No, these won't meet a fiery end as the Hindenburg did-- the Zeppelin NT uses helium for lift. The story I read talked about a company called Airship Ventures that is buying one to use in the San Francisco area (the first flight will be on Halloween).

Build a man a fire...

Most people know the Chinese proverb which begins: "Give a man a fish...". George shared with me a variation on the theme from Terry Pratchett:

"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
Strange sense of humor, that Pratchett guy. Here's another clever quote of his:

"The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp."

George got a Kayak
George has been shopping for a kayak for a while, and finally found one. He is now the proud owner of a blue Old Town Cayuga 14.6. He has only taken it out to the lake to practice a couple of times, but it sounds like a lot of fun. It just barely fits in his living room...

His latest boating adventure caused me to bring up is old J24 sailboat, and ask him if he missed it. While he thinks about it now and then, the cost of keeping it in a slip at Lake Pleasant just made it impossible to keep. I remarked that he could always sell his house and live on the boat! Of course, a J24 doesn't have much room.

Slip F-18 plaqueGeorge mentioned that one of his favorite John D. MacDonald characters, Travis McGee, lived on a boat in Florida. McGee kept his fictional Busted Flush at slip F-18, Bahia Mar, in Ft. Lauderdamndale, Florida (McGee's pet name for the city).

While the guy and the boat are fictional, the slip actually exists. A plaque commemorating McGee was erected on the spot. Randy Wayne White, another author whom George and I have discussed, was at the ceremony dedicating the plaque. His own character, Doc Ford, is sort of considered the be the modern-day McGee. I'm currently pretending to read a Doc Ford novel, Twelve Mile Limit.

Into the Wild

George recently read Jon Krakauer's book Into The Wild, and saw the movie, too. The book is an unusual biography, since you learn almost as much about Krakauer's efforts to tracked down what happened to Christopher McCandless as you do about McCandless' story itself.

McCandless graduated from college, sold nearly all his belongings, gave his trust fund to charity, and set off an a two-year journey of discovery and adventure. Unfortunately, he never told any of his friends or family that he was going or where he was going... and since the story ends with his death in the Alaskan wilderness, it is fitting that we also learn how Krakauer uncovered the facts of McCandless' journeys.

I read the book myself several years ago, and then saw the Sean Penn film last year. Penn took a different approach and just told Christopher's story, following him on his travels. Hal Holbrook was nominated for Best Supporting Actor (I'm ashamed to admit I thought he was dead...).

I felt the movie completely and accurately captured the tone of the book. I highly recommend both of them.


My wife Teri is in California this weekend, taking Charlie to his first big dog show. Three days, two people, two dogs, one small motel room... sounds like fun. She's been taking him to handling classes (she does most of the learning), so she hopes he is ready. He'll be in a puppy classification, so hopefully the competition isn't too stiff.

I'll add a photo from the show as soon as she returns.

Here it is!